SBP Blog

Announcing the publication Bird Talk and Other Stories by Xu Xu

Michael Palmer - Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Following up our announcement of Former Studio Ghibli Exec Steve Alpert's memoir, we are happy to announce the publication of influential and widely read 20th century Chinese author, Xu Xu’s Bird Talk and Other Stories by Xu Xu: Modern Tales of a Chinese Romantic. 

Xu Xu 徐訏 (1908-1980) was an influential Chinese writer who enjoyed tremendous popularity from the late 1930s through the 1960s. After graduating from Peking University, he moved to Shanghai in 1933 to begin his literary career. He left for Paris in 1936 to continue his studies, but soon returned to China after the outbreak of war with Japan. He moved to Hong Kong in 1950 where he continued to publish copious amounts of fiction, poetry, and literary criticism.

Xu Xu's works were banned on the mainland from 1949 until the 1980s, but his work is now widely read in China and is a frequent source material for television and the stage. In Hong Kong, Xu Xu also edited several literary journals and taught Chinese literature at different colleges and universities, eventually chairing the Chinese Department at Hong Kong Baptist University until his death in 1980.

The book made its way into our hands by way of associate professor of Chinese at San Francisco State University, Frederik H. Green. He is the author of numerous articles and book chapters on the literature and culture of the Qing dynasty and the Republican Period, Sino-Japanese cultural relations, post-socialist Chinese cinema, and contemporary Chinese art. He holds a BA in Chinese Studies from Cambridge University and an MPhil and PhD in Chinese literature from Yale University.

Green provides translation as well as commentary in Bird Talk and Other Stories. 

Pre-order the book here:


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